Spy School: The Graphic Novel by Stuart Gibbs, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar

Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Ben Ripley has always dreamed of being a spy, but he’s still pretty shocked when he suddenly gets recruited to a school that’s secretly training young CIA operatives. The school is similar to a regular middle school in some ways: bad food, boring classes, and pompous administrators, but the attempted assassinations and hidden bombs put a new spin on things.  It appears that someone has brought Ben to the school for their own nefarious purposes but trying to figure out who that is and why proves to be both challenging and dangerous.  Fortunately, Ben is aided by Erica, the smartest (and coolest) girl in the school.  The enemy is foiled at last, but a letter at the end promises a sequel, and fans of the non-graphic Spy School series know that Ben’s adventures are just beginning. 296 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  There are already legions of Spy School fans, and the graphic novel will undoubtedly recruit many more.  I haven’t read the original, so I don’t know how this compares, but there’s plenty of action and humor which is always a winning combination for upper elementary and middle school.

Cons:  The artwork lacked much background detail and was a bit flat.

February 23, 2022 at 05:49PM Janet Dawson